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Further developing the Frith-Happé animations: a quicker, more objective, and web-based test of theory of mind for autistic and neurotypical adults

Livingston, Lucy Anne, Shah, Punit, White, Sarah and Happé, Francesca 2021. Further developing the Frith-Happé animations: a quicker, more objective, and web-based test of theory of mind for autistic and neurotypical adults. Autism Research 10.1002/aur.2575

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Abstract

The Frith–Happé Animations Test, depicting interactions between triangles, is widely used to measure theory of mind (ToM) ability in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This test began with recording, transcribing, and subjectively scoring participants' verbal descriptions, which consistently found ToM-specific difficulties in ASD. More recently in 2011, White et al. created a more objective version of this ToM test using multiple-choice questions. However, there has been surprisingly little uptake of this test, hence it is currently unclear if White et al.'s findings replicate. Further, the lack of an online version of the test may be hampering its use in large-scale studies and outside of research settings. Addressing these issues, we report the development of a web-based version of the Frith–Happé Animations Test for autistic and neurotypical adults. An online version of the test was developed in a large general population sample (study 1; N = 285) and online data were compared with those collected in a lab-based setting (study 2; N = 339). The new online test was then administered to adults with a clinical diagnosis of ASD and matched neurotypical controls (study 3; N = 231). Results demonstrated that the test could successfully be administered online to autistic adults, who showed ToM difficulties compared to neurotypical adults, replicating White et al.'s findings. Overall, we have developed a quicker, more objective, and web-based version of the Frith–Happé Animations Test that will be useful for social cognition research within and beyond the field of autism, with potential utility for clinical settings.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1939-3792
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 3 May 2021
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2021 13:10
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/141537

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